When you get into a car accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, the aftermath can be catastrophic—particularly if you are seriously injured.
Your car may have thousands of dollars in damage or may even have been totaled. Your medical bills—from doctor’s visits, procedures, and prescriptions—may have quickly added up to thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you missed work as a result of your injuries, you may have lost income. If the injuries you sustained in the accident are permanent, you may have significant medical bills and lost income in the future.
In addition to the damage to your health and property, a car accident can result in emotional damage.
Fortunately, when your accident and injuries were caused by another person, you have the right to hold that person responsible for their actions.
However, this process can be complicated and confusing. It’s important that you understand your options when making a personal injury claim—specifically how insurance will affect the amount of compensation that you can receive.
In Alabama, all drivers must have at least the legally mandated minimum amount of insurance coverage:
When the other driver is at fault, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is not responsible for paying more than the driver’s maximum policy limit. This means that, if your damages are more than the driver’s policy limit, the company does not have to pay the excess.
What should you do if the at-fault driver is underinsured, or worse, uninsured.
After any applicable insurance coverage has been used, the at-fault driver becomes personally liable for the rest. However, the driver may not have the money to pay your claim. This means that, even if the court awards you money from the driver, you may never be able to collect from him or her.
As a result, it’s often a better option to make a claim on your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. (Unless you have signed a written waiver specifically saying that you do not want UM/UIM coverage, your insurance company should provide it.) A UM/UIM policy is designed to cover you in the event that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance or enough insurance.
We strongly believe that having a UM/UIM policy is important. With 22 percent of Alabama drivers uninsured—and even more underinsured—this coverage can protect you.
It can be confusing and stressful to have to deal with multiple insurance companies—all while recovering from your accident. The experienced and understanding car accident lawyers at Martinson & Beason, P.C. are here to help you understand your situation and get the compensation you need.
Please call us to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a lawyer who will answer all of your insurance and personal injury questions.